Portland, Oregon (PRWEB) February 03, 2014
Data released in January 2014 by the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows that 19 Oregon hospitals have been penalized for their performance on key measures of quality care under Medicare's new Value-Based Purchasing program. Enacted in 2012 as part of federal health reform, the Medicare program provides bonuses and penalties to hospitals based on how well they perform on 24 quality measures—but with no public reporting requirements, few Oregonians are aware of the ratings, notes the Act Now for a Healthy Oregon campaign.
"The federal government is making a strong statement that it's time to hold hospitals accountable for the quality of care they provide," said Meg Niemi, President of SEIU Local 49 and chief petitioner for several of Act Now for a Healthy Oregon's ballot measures. "The Value-Based Purchasing program is an important first step, but the vast majority of the public has no idea that the data is available. Consumers are used to comparison-shopping based on online reviews for things like restaurants and auto mechanics, and they frequently choose the ones with lowest wait times and best quality. We need to make healthcare just as transparent."
The Oregon hospitals penalized the most under the program are:
In addition, more than half of Oregon hospitals have higher rates of falls and injuries than the national average.
In October 2013, Act Now for a Healthy Oregon filed a package of 5 ballot measures aimed at improving patient care while reducing health care costs. One of the five measures would require hospitals to prominently display (in the hospital and on their website) their performance compared to other regional hospitals on quality measures such as infection rates, mortality rates, patient satisfaction rates and other key measures.
“Patients have a right to know whether their hospitals measure up on basic quality measures—wouldn’t you want to know if the hospital where you’re scheduled to have surgery has a higher rate of patient death, hospital-acquired infections or readmissions due to complications?” said Bryan Leeder, Chief Petitioner for the quality care ballot measure. “The federal government is taking the first step by collecting this data; now we need to take the next step to make it accessible to the Oregon public.”
More information about the measures is available at http://www.acthealthyoregon.org
SEIU’s Act Now for a Healthy Oregon campaign is working to achieve the goal of keeping our communities healthy by achieving the Triple Aim: improving quality, enhancing access, and increasing affordability of care. SEIU is the largest healthcare union in the country with 2.1 million health care workers. In Oregon and SW Washington, SEIU represents 15,000 health care providers across the continuum of care and is the second largest purchaser of healthcare in the state.